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Collaborative Modeling Lab Staying the Course: Collaborative Modeling to Support Adaptive and ResilientWater Resource Governance in the Inland Northwest

Published in Water:  Special Issue Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources Management


Abstract: Water resource governance, much like the systems it endeavors to manage, must be

resilient and adaptive. Effective, resilient and adaptive water resource governance requires continuing

stakeholder engagement to address the complex nature of human and natural systems. Engagement

is an adaptive and iterative process of education and empowerment, building relationships and trust,

and facilitating collaboration. Collaborative modeling is a methodology that integrates diverse

stakeholder perspectives, fosters discussions, and creates space for problem identification and

consensus-based strategies and solutions to current water resource challenges. We define collaborative

modeling broadly, such that it includes a wide range of systems thinking exercises, as well as dynamic

models. By focusing on the relationships and interconnections in the system, collaborative modeling

facilitates clarification of mental models and the communication of science. We will describe our

work in two interstate basins and how it has evolved over time as these basins strive

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Beall King and Thornton 2016